Post written by Yifan Song, 2016 ILF Fellow
Sunday, June 26th.
The motley crew of ILF fellows streamed in from various directions to assemble at the base of the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument beside the Tidal Basin. As per tradition of the ILF Monument Tour, each fellow delivered a brief report on either the biography of the historical figure being memorialized or on the history of the monument itself.
Beginning at the MLK monument, we trudged along the edge of the Tidal Basin first to the FDR Monument, next to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, then breaking north to the main axis of the National Mall where, in order, we visited the Washington Monument, the World War II Monument, the Vietnam War Monument, the Korean War Monument, and lastly the Lincoln Memorial.
On the stretch of our march to the Thomas Jefferson memorial, the sun descended behind our backs, casting long shadows of our procession over the Tidal Basin’s serene waters, painted with the image of Washington’s obelisk. This was definitely among the most beautiful sights my eyes have yet beheld here in D.C.
As we underwent our five hour trial of limbs and brains, I felt a sense of camaraderie strengthen among us fellows. Touring the monuments is a truly different experience when done with ILF. There’s so much about our country that we learned from each other, while the reports we gave were an exercise of leadership as well as public speaking. For as long as the monuments stand, each class of ILF fellows will have the chance to be in our shoes as they march through history.
Pictures taken by Chris Wu.